Ivan Roman: ECC’s unique opportunities changed my life

  • Tags: Achievements | Staff Profile
Published 05/14/2019
Ivan Roman

I’ll never forget what my instructor Helen Wang said to us in computer science I, Fall 2017. She told us that “the computer is not smart, just fast. You’re smart.” Her inspiration and advice impacted me, helping me get through my programming assignments and develop my career path. Instructor Wang is just one of many influential members of the ECC community who genuinely want to see you succeed and push you to be your best.

Going to a community college was my only realistic option out of high school. Facing challenges in my youth, high school was a struggle. I ended up graduating as a “super senior” and went into college wondering if I was good enough to be successful.

I chose ECC because its campus felt the most inviting. I stayed because of the unique opportunities available to me here. Over my time at ECC I got involved in Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society, eventually becoming the president for the 2018-2019 year. With PTK, I had the opportunities to run the Spartan Food Pantry on campus with my team, make positive changes in my community, go to conferences in Kansas City and Orlando, and meet students who have become lifelong friends.

My time at this institution changed my life. ECC focuses a lot more on who you can become instead of who you are. I was lucky enough to receive the Motorola Solutions Scholarship through the ECC Foundation 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. This recognition of my hard work felt good and made me want to work hard so that one day, I can make similar contributions to others.

Next fall I will be transferring to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, majoring in computer science. I will be the first in my family to graduate from college and change the narrative for my family. Without ECC, this wouldn’t have been possible. The best advice I can give is that your past doesn’t need to determine your future. If there is anything you’d truly like to achieve, learn, do, or say -- but you don’t think you can do it -- take it day by day, and go for it.

Ivan Roman ‘19
Associate in Engineering Science
Lake in the Hills